Review: Wood’s Old Navy Rum

Wood’s has been around since 1887 and has been owned by William Grant & Sons since 2002. Its stubble bottle packaging has been around since 2016, I saw pictures around of the old one and I have to say I am happy I met it in its current form.

The label states “Original navy recipe” and, while it’s definitely a navy style rum, the blend the navy were supplying the sailors with prior to the 31st of July 1970 (Black Tot Day) had various recipes catering to a flavour profile, depending on what rums were available at different time. Looks like Demerara rums (from Guyana) were always a part of the blend, containing rum from at least one of the wooden heritage stills, usually the Port Mourant, so I can see how Wood’s will have that similar profile.

Wood’s is a navy style rum that hails from Guyana, it’s distilled at Diamond Distillery and is aged in Scotland. The website states it’s made from blackstrap molasses (which sounds a bit markety), it’s a blend of 3 different rums, one of them coming from the Versailles single wooden pot still – Wes has more details on the marques in his review. The rums are brought to Scotland where they are aged up to 3 years in ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 57% ABV with added caramel colouring given its dark look.

On the nose feels earthy and fiery. Dark chocolate, chilli powder, dusty cardboard and molasses. Black olives and liquorice. It has a slight Caroni-ish profile. Canned plums, blackcurrant cordial and stout. Dark and rich profile.

On the palate there’s quite a bit of ethanol along with the flavours. Ground coffee, toffee, caramel and cocoa nibs. Liquorice of course, Coca-Cola, walnuts, English Breakfast tea, raisins, leather, black pepper and cloves. There’s a slight saltiness to it as well. A pretty straightforward Demerara rum with plenty of heat. The finish is medium with fresh coffee, cayenne pepper and ethanol.

A pretty rough Guyanese blend, but at 57% ABV and less than £25 in Waitrose you can’t expect it to be too layered and complex. Ideal for mixing or setting stuff on fire (safely of course). It can be found at online retailers for £27.50, but you’ll find it fairly often on offer on Amazon for £20 ranking it number two on my best value for money rums list.

Wood’s Old Navy Rum score:
Flavour/taste: 47/70
Value for money: 15/15
Transparency/purity: 13/15
Overall: 75/100


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